For the last four and a half months, we have been surrounded by speakers of foreign languages. Or perhaps, we have been the speakers of the foreign language, English, surrounded by Arabic, Hebrew and Italian. Polish too, but we had some light relief there staying with a friend, and so had plenty of lively conversation in English. It took a bit of time to stop thinking and speaking in Italian, but once we hit English shores, we slipped back into our native tongue with ease. (Though I will admit, comprehension isn’t guaranteed, what with our accents, and those of the English speakers we encounter, and the fact that many of them are not native speakers even here).
Suddenly we have English language TV, news at the flick of a switch, or in archaic paper form delivered under our hotel room door in the morning. And with this immersion back into English, the need to blog – or perhaps the space just to tune out everything and think in English that leads to a blogpost – has diminished.
I will wrap up the blog when we get home, put on some more photographs and thoughts of Poland (Chopin, and good bread), and maybe some of London. But many of my readers know London well, so I won’t dwell. We’ve been having some very “English” days – Covent Garden markets, Victoria and Albert museum, a West End show, getting caught in the rain, a curry for dinner, and walking back to our hotel through Soho. We’ve explored new places, enjoyed the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum, strolled through St James Park, photographed squirrels, and supped beer in a pub. We’ve been crushed in the Tube at rush hour, and pitied the poor Londoners. We’ve had afternoon tea, thrilled over the availability of Asian food (finding Khao Soi – Chiang Mai noodles – was a highlight), and educated ourselves at museums. So we are improving our minds, emptying our wallets, and expanding our … um … palates.
And all too soon we will be home.